Description of the parish in 1862

Map showing the location of the parish

"Leslie parish, containing the burgh of barony of Leslie and the village of Prinlaws, lies at the base of the Lomond Hills, between them and the River Leven. It is bounded by Markinch, Falkland and Kinross-shire and measures about 4 miles by 3 miles. Coal and limestone occur, but are not worked. Prinlaws, immediately to the west of Leslie burgh, contains extensive flax spinning, power-loom weaving and bleaching establishments, partly driven by water and partly by steam power. These are the most extensive works of their kind in the county. The burgh of Leslie has records dating back 300 years, but they do not contain anything remarkable. The town has doubled in size in the last 50 years - due to the prosperity of its manufactures of linens and woollens, flax spinning, paper making, yarn bleaching, etc. The parish church was built in 1820; there are also 2 UP Churches and a Free Church. " edited from Westwood's Directory for the counties of Fife & Kinross published 1862.

Towns and Villages

part of the new town of Glenrothes

Places in Leslie parish, with links to online historical and modern maps.

Please read the main Fife pages if you have not already done so.

Archives and Libraries

A separate Records Page page gives details of the records for this parish held by Scottish archives.

The ScotlandsPlaces website lets users search across national databases by geographical location. It includes, amongst other material,


A very good description is to be found in the relevant chapter in History of the County of Fife: From the Earliest Period to the Present Time by John M Leighton, published 1840, online at Google Books.


There are 2 cemeteries in Leslie parish:

1. Kirk on the Green Churchyard, Greenside, Leslie (grid ref. NO 256021; GPS: 56.205496 -3.201059 Google map):

2. Leslie Cemetery, Kinross Road, Leslie (grid ref. NO 243017; GPS: 56.202049 -3.222439 Google map):

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The original 1841 census returns were lost in transit to Edinburgh.

Parish / district reference number for 1851 - 1901 censuses: 444

The 1851 census has been indexed by the Tay Valley Family History Society.

Some census records on microfilm may be consulted in  LDS Family Search Centres around the world.

LDS Library Film Numbers:

  1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891
Leslie - 1042269 103831 103994 203528 208763
(Data provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints)

Further information on the main Fife page.

Church History

As well as the parish church, other churches included a Burgher Church, a Free Church (later United Free) and a United Presbyterian Church

The Old Statistical Account (written in the 1790s) gives this information about Dissenters:

The New Statistical Account (written in 1836) gives this information:

The 1865 Ecclesiastical Directory lists the parish church, 2 United Presbyterian Churches (the 1st Congregation and Leslie West), and the Free Church.

Information and pictures of the churches at the Scottish Churches website.

Details of church history here.

Church Records

The Parish Church (Established Church, Church of Scotland):

The original Old Parish Registers (of baptisms / births, proclamations / marriages, and deaths / burials) of the Church of Scotland, which cover the years up to 1854, are held in the National Records of Scotland in Edinburgh, and they can all be consulted there at the National Records of Scotland. The baptisms / births, proclamations / marriages and deaths / burials indexes can be searched at the ScotlandsPeople website. Copies of the register entries may be purchased.

Parish reference number: 444

The Old Parish Registers (OPRs) span the following dates (although there are gaps within these ranges):

Leslie OPR Births / baptisms Proclamations / marriages Deaths / burials / mortcloths
444/1 1673-1767 1729-1761  
444/2 1764-1819    
444/3   1779-1819 1761-1819
444/4 1820-1854 1838-1854  
444/5   1820-1837 1820-1837
444/6 1600-1645 1613-1645  
Register of Neglected Entries      
(Data supplied by the National Records of Scotland)

The Detailed List of the Old Parochial Registers of Scotland, published 1872, provides this information about the content of the OPRs, including the gaps within them:

B.  blank Aug. 1678 - March 1682. Early leaves much injured by damp. Record 1718 - 1763 kept in the form of a small Memorandum Book. Irregular entries throughout. Mothers' names not recorded till Feb. 1685.
M.  Prior to 1761 kept in form of a Memorandum Book. Blank (exc. one entry 1755, and two entries 1761) Dec. 1750 - March 1779, from which date till 1838 entries of Proclamations only.
D.  (Mortcloth Dues.)
[Subsequent to publication of the Detailed List, records were found at Worcester College, Oxford, containing B. 1640 - 1645 and M. 1613 - 1645. These have now been included in the OPR series (vol. 444/6).]

Copies of the registers on microfilm may be consulted in some local libraries and at LDS Family Search Centres around the world. The indexes to baptisms / births and proclamations / marriages can also be searched on the LDS Family Search website or on the IGI on microfiche in local libraries.

LDS Library Film Numbers:

1040188 Items 3 - 5 Baptisms, 1673-1819; Marriages, 1729-1750, 1761; Session book (includes Marriage proclamations after 1779 and Mortcloth dues [burial records]), 1761-1786.
1040386 Items 1 - 4 Session book (includes Marriage proclamations and Mortcloth dues), 1787-1819; Baptisms, 1820-1854, 1600-1644 (with some misc. notes); Marriages, 1820-1839, 1848-1854, 1613-1644; Burials, 1820- 1837.
(Data provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints)

Deaths / burials are listed on Fife Family History Society's  Pre-1855 Fife Deaths CD.

Some of the OPR entries can be searched on the FreeREG site.

Further information on the main Fife page.

Kirk Session (CH2/696) are held by the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh. Some Kirk Session material is to be found in the OPR records (444/3 and 444/4). Details of records here.

Heritors' Records (HR210) are at the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh. Details of records here.

Other Churches :
Baptism records for the Associate Session (later West Church, Anti-burgher) are held at the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh.
Leslie Associate Congregation Baptisms
CH3/319/1 1748-1749; 1758-1808
CH3/340/1 (bound in with Cairneyhill in error) 1741-1747; 1750-1757

A transcript of these baptisms has been published by the Fife Family History Society Baptismal Registers No. 2and Journal, vol 9 no.2.

The Leslie West United Presbyterian baptisms for 1849-1854 are published on the Records pages of the Fife Family History Society website.

Kirk Session records for the Burgher Church (CH3/318) and the Associate Congregation (West, Anti-burgher - CH3/319) are held by the National Records of Scotland, Edinburgh. Details of records here.

The LDS have filmed some other church records which may be consulted at LDS Family History Centres.

LDS Library Film Numbers:

889477 Item 2 Leslie Associate Congregation Church Baptisms, 1742-1806. ? CH3/319 National Records of Scotland
304672 Item 3 Leslie Associate Congregation Church Baptisms, 1748-1808 CH3/319 National Records of Scotland
(Data provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints)

Details of church records here.

The Leslie page of the LDS Family Search Research Wiki has more information about church history and records.

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Civil Registration

Registration of Births, Marriages and Deaths began in Scotland on 1st January 1855. Full information on the main Fife page.

Registration districts covering this parish:

Registration district number start date end date
Leslie 444 1855 1967
Glenrothes 433 1968 1971
Glenrothes 420 1972 2002
Fife 420 2003  

Registration districts did not necessarily coincide exactly with parishes. In the 20th century especially, there were frequent changes in registration districts.

Court Records

Burgh of Barony of Leslie court records, and Leslie police court case register records are held by the Fife Council Archive Centre. Details of records here.

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Description & Travel

Leslie town centre Ordnance Survey Grid Reference GPS Post code Lat. 5612'7"N
NO 249016 56.201054
KY6 3AZ Lon. 312'41"W

Surrounding parishes: Kinglassie, Falkland, Markinch, Portmoak (Kinross-shire).

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The parish entry in Pigot's National Commercial Directory for the whole of Scotland, 1837, is online at Google Books.

Westwood's Parochial Directory for the Counties of Fife and Kinross for 1862 and 1866 are online at Google Books. On the Records pages of the Fife Family History Society website there is a transcription of the 1862 edition.


There is a list of places in Leslie parish, with links to online historical and modern maps.

Several old gazetteers are available. They all contain descriptions of the parish and many are also worth searching for entries of places within the parish.

Historical Geography

A Vision of Britain provides historical descriptions, population & housing statistics, historic boundaries and maps.

Land and Property

Details of historic buildings and archaeological sites in this parish held by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, Edinburgh, are catalogued at ScotlandsPlaces. In the results, click RCAHMS. Unfortunately, not all entries have digital images.

The Fife Council Archive Centre holds estate papers and accounts of the Rothes family from the 1640s to the 1900s concerning their estate in Leslie and Markinch parishes, including: wage books & other records of miners employed at Cadham, Strathore & Cluny mines c.1680-1750; household accounts for Leslie House, including records of payments to the family's household and farm servants.
For an overview of the papers, see Introduction to the Rothes Papers, W G Rowntree Bodie, in Proc. Soc. Antiq. Scot., 110, 1978-80, 404-431. There is an index to them on the Fife Council website (select  A in the A-Z list, then  Archives enquiries).


Historic maps: Present-day maps:

Military History

War memorials can be seen at the Scottish War Memorials Project.

Names, Geographical

There is an index to the Ordnance Survey Object Name Books for this parish here.

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Fife Deaths Abroad 1855-1900 - a compilation of overseas deaths recorded in Fife newspapers - has been produced by Andrew Campbell of Fife Family History Society. The Society have recently re-published it in their Publications Series, 28.


The parish is included in Andrew Campbell's compilation of Fife Shopkeepers and Traders 1820-1870 taken from newspapers and directories. It is available in most Fife reference libraries, in the libraries of the family history societies, and at the Manuscript Department of the Special Collections Department of St Andrews University Library. It is also available as Fife Traders and Shopkeepers on CD from Fife Family History Society.

There is a series of articles about many Fife family businesses in Fife Family History Society's Journal, New Series 10.

Poorhouses, Poor Law, etc.

The relief of paupers after 1845 was carried out by the Parochial Board and later by the Parish Council. Their records are at the Fife Council Archive Centre. Details of records here.

Peter Higginbotham's website has a lot of information about Dysart combination poorhouse.


Year Population
1755 1130
1801 1609
1851 3800
1901 3960
1951 3765

There is a page with census statistics from 1755 to 1961 here.

See also A Vision of Britain and Histpop for population statistics.

Probate Records

Probate records are 'Confirmations' in Scotland.

Prior to 1824, wills, testaments & inventories of residents of Leslie may be found in the Dunkeld Commissariot (CC7),  the St Andrews Commissariot (CC20) or the Edinburgh Commissariot (CC8) records. From 1824 to 1960, commissary business was conducted by the Sheriff Court of Fife at Cupar (SC20). From 1960, it has been conducted at Kirkcaldy (SC23) Sheriff Court.

Indexes and finding aids are given on the main Fife page.

Local sources worth searching for deeds include St Andrews Commissary Court, Dunkeld Commissary Court and Cupar Sheriff Court.


School Board records and / or school logbooks are heldat the Fife Council Archive Centre. Details of records here.

Education statistics for Fife schools in 1891-2 list the following board schools in the parish:

School Board School Accommodation for scholars Average attendance
Leslie Leslie 799 651


"Statistical accounts" giving fascinating insights into the local topography and history, social and economic conditions, and even the daily lives of people, were written by the parish ministers in the 1790s and the 1840s. For more information see the main Fife pages


The hearth tax, clock & watch tax, male servants tax, female servants tax, and farm horse tax are all on ScotlandsPlaces.

Town Records

Towns were usually referred to as Burghs in Scotland.

The archives of the former Burgh of Leslie are held by Fife Council Archives.  They include Council Minutes from 1800, Chartulary from 1457, and much other more-recent material. Details of records here.

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